Incredible feats of science, engineering and evolution as man triumphs over gravity – whatever. Planes are first and foremost cocoons of distraction. They must divert the economy passenger from reality (the brutal discomfort of being herded into a weird, long tube for a while) by funnelling attention towards scheduled meals and tiny screens. We are resigned and reduced to our most basic needs in these hours: eating and pissing. Occasionally sleeping, if you’re lucky enough to not be crammed into some stranger’s armpit.
I fall into the camp of saving my dollars for the trip, rather than the journey, so as usual I was anticipating repetitive television, massaging a stiff neck and feeling sweaty in an uncomfortable seat for nine and a bit hours. But something happened while checking in.
Computer glitch, divine intervention, 30th birthday miracle. Whatever the case, I was upgraded to business class. Upon querying the boarding pass spat out by the blessed self-service kiosk, the kind staff member simply said “don’t question it, honey – just go.” Once. In. A. Lifetime. A priority tag was adhered to my luggage and I was directed to the express queue. It was a moment so exciting I broke all principles and did that terrible thing and made somebody take a photo of me stretching like a greyhound in my business class seat to illustrate the obscene amount of legroom: straight to Facebook. Jokes were made about me never being able to return to economy again, “flying has been ruined for you!”, and I agreed. My moral compass shattered on the floor of the business class lounge buffet.
Welcome drinks, an actual menu, cutlery that didn’t make me feel like a child and three courses of food. Good food. Wow, nice things can happen to people who aren’t influencers or brand-tagging desperados! Five hours in and I was feeling fine. I lay down flat and had a little nap after lunch and a cheese plate. Snacks of Valrhona chocolate. Is this how the other half live? Not a Byron Bay Cookie in sight.
Stepping off the plane I felt more refreshed than I do after a short interstate flight. My life has now peaked too early and it’s all downhill from here.